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Travel Diary

  • Simon Lundh

Georgia on my mind

Aktualisiert: 6. Mai 2019

Usually by this time of year I would’ve made my annual visit to Latin America, but with Nicaragua in unfortunate turmoil and editor-in-chief Katja, learning the ropes in the Dominican, faltering steps we were able to follow right her on Blog from the Origen not long ago, I decided to turn my attention to the east. After visiting Lebanon, Jordan and Cyprus in February about which you will be able to read in the upcoming issues, I’m now on a mission to find out what smokes and not in the Caucasian nations of Georgia, the birthplace of Josef Stalin, and Azerbaijan, where they fittingly enough used to worship fire and whose name literally translates to "Land of Fire”, or at least something in that direction.

First stop Georgia.



The Narikala Fortress in the Old City

According to the omnipotent Google, Georgia is famous for wine, holy houses and abandoned bath houses from the time when Soviet big wigs wanted to chillax in mud and radon water. This includes the biggest, hairiest wig of them all, Josef Stalin. He was born in the small town of Gori, an hour west of the capital, Tbilisi, and he had his own personal bathtub in Bathhouse no 6 in the old spa town of Tskaltubo.



Clay Stalin figures at the flea market in Tbilisi

The museum dedicated in his honor is of course a must-see, but most of all I’m hoping to find out if not only pipes made it in behind that dense, statesmanlike moustache of his. Maybe he and Churchill had their own penis-shaped measuring contests in secret board rooms during WWII. I don’t want to start any rumors in this socially contorted medial existence of ours, but who knows? Maybe we will, after this.


Mother of Georgia overlooking Tbilisi


Having arrived in the middle of the night our first day was not the busiest, but we managed to visit Mother of Georgia, the immense aluminum statue of a woman overlooking Tbilisi in grand Soviet style from above, holding a bowl of wine for her friends and a sword for her enemies, see the city from a cable car, browse CCCP memorabilia in a local market and make a quick stop at the Havana Club in the area of Vake. It’s one of two lounges in the city, the other being Davidoff Cigar House.


Havana Club's own Georgian wine

Georgia seems to be a Cuban dominated cigar nation, judging by the brief conversation I had with Dimitry Gakhov, one of the managers of Havana Club, but I will find out more about that when I come back for a proper visit later this week. Until then, gaumarjos!


Dimitry Ghakov in the Havana Club

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